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Sir Jack Boles MBE DL, Late The Rifle Brigade
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Sir Jack Boles MBE DL, Late The Rifle Brigade

(Extracts from the Daily Telegraph Obit of 2 Jul 2013)


Sir Jack Boles of Rydon House, Talaton, Devon aged 88 on 1st July 2013. Funeral Service Saturday 13th July, 2.30pm at St James the Great, Talaton, Devon. Funeral Director F.J. Luxton & Son. 21 Tip Hill, Ottery St Mary, EX11 1BE

Jack Dennis Boles was born on June 25 1925.

He joined the Army from Winchester College in 1943 and was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in November 1944. A motorcycle accident prevented him from serving in northern Europe, but in 1945-46 he was stationed in Egypt.

After the war he joined the Colonial Service and, having studied Arabic and Hebrew in preparation for going to Palestine, was sent to North Borneo instead. There he taught himself Malay, largely by reading translations of Shakespeare and the Bible, and spent 17 years as a district commissioner, helping in the restoration and development of the colony after it had been shattered by four years of Japanese occupation.

Towards the end of his time there, as North Borneo moved to independence as part of Malaysia, Boles served as Secretary to the last British Governor, Sir William Goode, then stayed on for a year after independence as Secretary to the Minister for Land and Natural Resources in the new government.

After returning to Britain in 1964 Boles joined the National Trust in 1965 as Assistant Secretary and rose to be its Director-General from 1975 to 1983.

He was appointed MBE in 1960 and knighted in 1983.

He was a Life Member of the Rifle Brigade Club.

Jack Boles is survived by his wife, by three daughters and two sons of his first marriage, and by an adopted daughter.

A nephew of his, Capt TG Wright, was a serving officer in the RGJ 1976 -1986.

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